Unite Strike Ballot: Building for a ‘Yes’ vote

What’s the capital of Iceland? Oh, about £4.60 at the moment.

I saw this one on a ‘health activists’ email list. There has to be the odd laugh in an economic crisis.

We’ve got some challenges, though. If we let them get away with it, this is a crisis we’ll be paying for. The Government finds £500 billion to bail out the banks with no apparent effort. So why are health workers getting our pay cut? Why are soaring numbers of people getting their homes repossessed? Why are so many ordinary workers losing their jobs in manufacturing and construction – and in finance, for that matter. Most of us won’t shed too many tears for super-rich bankers, but most finance workers are on bog standard salaries, just the same as the rest of us.

The answer from all of us has to be, “No way – we’re not having it”. We didn’t make this crisis. Why the hell should we have to pay for it?

In Unite, our Health Sector members have the opportunity to fight back against pay cuts. Our ballot for strike action opens on 28th October, closing on 12th November.

We have one question on ‘day(s) of strike action’ and another on ‘industrial action short of strike action’ – with a clear recommendation to vote ‘Yes’ to both.

Unite members have had enough. There’s a growing mood out there that we have to fight; that there’s just no alternative.

The pressures are obviously worst for the health workers on Band 1 and Band 2 – the really disgracefully low salaries. But I know plenty of therapists and nurses who struggle to pay back student loans, or bring up their kids, or pay the mortgage. People are really hurting. There’s that real sense that every year, things get tougher for us. And lower pay now feeds into lower pensions for the rest of our lives.

Unite’s got some excellent campaign material here. Got a hospital or health centre notice board near you? Download some of this stuff, and get it displayed.

It’s time for a fight on pay. Every Unite member in Health needs to vote ‘Yes’ for action.

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